Officials expect rush for same-sex marriage licenses

3:30 pm December 6th, 2012

The Pierce County auditor’s office, anticipating a surge in marriage license applications for same-sex couples, will extend licensing and passport service hours for four days – including this Saturday and Sunday – in December. 
A statewide ballot measure legalizing same-sex marriages passed in the general election in November. The authority to issue the licenses takes effect this Thursday.
Auditor Julie Anderson, whose office manages marriage licenses for the county, estimated 150 couples will apply for the licenses Thursday.
She said the extended hours to “speed service” are planned for Dec. 6 from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Dec. 8 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Marriage license applicants who want to reserve a spot in line for the morning of Dec. 6 can get a number in advance on Wednesday, officials said. 
 “We know that some couples will want to be among the first in Pierce County to apply for a same-sex marriage license,” Anderson said.  “To prevent long wait times and to eliminate the need for overnight camping, we’ll allow Dec. 6 marriage applicants to get their queue number in advance.” 
She said those who want to be among the first applicants on the morning of Dec. 6 should:
 • Visit the auditor’s office in person on Wednesday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to secure a reservation number.
• Go to to complete and submit the online marriage application. 
• Return to the office with queue number and necessary documents on Thursday at 6:20 a.m. (10 minutes before the scheduled 6:30 opening).
Marriage license requirements include:
• Fill out your application online at
• Driver’s license, military ID or state ID.
• License fee of $64 in cash, cashier’s check or money order (checks not accepted).
• Both parties must appear in person together and be at least 18 years old.
• Wait at least three days to have your ceremony. The license is valid for 60 days.
Anderson said other licensing and passport services will be offered during the extended hours, too.
“Regardless of what brings you to our during our licensing fair, please come prepared, “Anderson said.
Passport applications require:
• Certified birth certificate or proof of US citizenship (photo copies not accepted).
• Driver’s license, Military ID, or State ID with additional proof of identity.
• Social Security number.
• Passport photos available for $12.
• Passport fees must be paid by check, cashier’s check or money order (cash not accepted).
Vehicle and boat licensing require:
• License plate number or registration.
• Boat registration number.
• Driver’s license or other valid identification.
•Emissions test, if necessary.
• Payment:  cash or check only.
• Title transfers require signed title and odometer disclosure statement.
Pet licensing services include:
• Purchase or renew pet licenses (unincorporated Pierce County, Carbonado, and South Prairie residents only).
• Proof of spay/neuter required.
The auditor’s office is located at 2401 S. 35th St. in Tcoma. The office is responsible for elections, licensing services, a variety of public records, and animal control services.
More information is available at, 253-798-7445 for passports, marriage and pet licensing, and 253-798-7547 for vehicle and boat licensing.

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